Water offers several land use and safety challenges. Damming effectively controls river flow, prevents floods and keeps water in one place for later use, but sometimes, a little extra help is required. This is where cable concrete mats can prove essential. Here is what they offer.
The needs of dams
As stated, water is usually dammed to create reservoirs. If this is going to work out, a dam must be water tight and durable against natural elements. One part of the dam is an impermeable membrane that reduces the likelihood of leaks. However, there are natural elements that can get in the way of these intentions.
Natural rock under dams must also remain water tight. Since water can be very strong under its own momentum, even the smallest breaches can lead to dam failure. The Big Bay Dam in Mississippi failed in 2004 due to one small hole that later became a full breach. The Silver Lake Dam in Michigan and the Hope Mills Dam in North Carolina failed due to heavy rain, leading to the evacuation of residents. These incidents show that it frequently does not take much for natural elements to bring down even the most seemingly impenetrable of dams. That is why extra erosion control is needed.
Cable concrete mats and water control
Installing cable concrete mats adds another layer of water control, especially at the natural rock surface that holds up the dam. It grounds the rock layers so water can drain but land remains intact through the extra support offered by the mat. The mat also conforms to the surface shape so it can act as a tight anti-erosion seal that also keeps water from deteriorating the foundation or structure of a dam.
Cable concrete mats are also very strong and can stand up to high water velocity and even waves. Even if the river or reservoir outside the dam is active, the mats continue to keep the water at bay.
Ideal supplement for most dams
Dams are also highly customized to environment. Since nature creates a unique landscape, the only elements dams share in common is physics. The type of foundation rock, patterns of water flow and even the intentions behind damming a river are all different. In order to add supplemental protection to dams, you need a solution that is easily adaptable. Cable concrete mats can adopt that role.
First, there is little to no site preparation required. With some grade preparation, the mats can be installed easily, even below water level. Second, they can also be cut to fit smaller areas or shaped irregularly to accommodate different layouts. Even with these adjustments, the mats remain strong. They interlock with each cell to ensure the protective qualities remain.
International Erosion Control Systems, Inc. owns the patent on cable concrete mats, and we support a national network of distributors. Contact us today to find a partner in your dam reinforcement so your efforts are protected from weather and erosion. We believe you will be pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of this customized approach to water control.